Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The Dirty South
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
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OK, here is a brief review of the Crown 402a amps that I have been comparing recently to my 5-channel Adcom amp (100X3, 60X2). First of all, my gear consists of the following: Athena AS-F2 fronts, Athena AS-C1 center, Polk LS/fx rears, Wharfedale WH-2 surround backs, and a Sony SAWM-40 sub. All of this is powered by a new Yamaha HTR-5760 used as a prepro, and the Adcom mentioned above.
Before I hooked up the Crowns for use w/ the L,R, and C speakers, I always identified the Adcom as a neutral and balanced amp - the highs, mids, and lows always maintained their proper place, although I always wanted just a little more out of the upper frequencies (personal taste). Anyway, after hooking up the Crowns I immediately noticed more effortless volume w/ the songs I played from several CDs (Sting, Classical, Jazz and Collective Soul). I would describe the Crowns as very detailed w/ voices and music. I got the most enjoyment out of vocals and instruments. With classical and jazz music, this amp is absolutely outstanding. If you like crystal clear detail, this amp is an excellent low-cost alternative to the multi- thousand dollar amps in the consumer market.
For hometheater, I listened to excerpts from "Master and Commander", and "Behind Enemy Lines" and to make a short story shorter, there's nothing like gobs of headroom. The 260W rating into the left, center and right speakers gave me everything I needed and more. The most surprising thing about all of this is the fact that I'm staring at Crown Pro amps of all things. This has changed completely the way I view amplification. I have always only daydreamed of amps like Krell, Bryston, Aragon, and EAD - and while those all are still probably superior amps (even though I never owned them), I don't wonder anymore what it's like to have all the power and detail I want and need.
So is the Crown better than my Adcom? Absolutely not! While I am very pleased and surprised w/ the Crown amps, for music, I found them a little bright on some recordings where the Adcom was always a bit smoother. Most of this I attribute to my new Athenas which are known to be bright speakers. I bought them to liven up my movies and music. Previously I had Paradigm Monitor 7s w/ the matching center channel which I sold to get the Athenas. The Crowns would've been a perfect match for them. Overall, the Crown is very good for music, and absolutely stunning for hometheater. I never, ever see a need to buy the ultra expensive amps. I was skeptical to buying and trusting a Pro amp for my love of movies and music, but the Crowns put all of that to rest. I'm just glad I never wasted big bucks on an overpriced consumer amp. The only thing I need to do is disconnect the fans. I don't think I need them. More critical reviews to come....
"Excuse me...What does God need with a Starship?" (Captain Kirk - Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)